Monday, February 6, 2012

The Fifth Dimension

For newbie authors there are five dimensions to the writing experience.

The first dimension is Twitter – Twitter is the place where you have 5,000 contacts you never contact.

The second is Facebook – Facebook is the place where the mundane lives of people become more mundane and "ewe" join in like sheep to the slaughter.

The third is your Website – Your Website is the place no one visits except you.

The fourth is your blog – Your blog is where you build up five or six followers who think you have thousands of followers.

The fifth is insanity – Insanity is the place you live after visiting the first four dimensions.

A word of advice; use these dimensions wisely. If you do not, you might return to sanity and as we all know – sanity is no fun!

Now click the title of this blog and sing along with me to Waylon Jenning's “I've always been crazy.”

I’m just saying,


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Treadmill Aliens

Three times a week, I "Sharpen The Saw" with a wild and woolly workout. When I finish my workout program designed to help with arthritis due to 47 years in the construction industry, I jump on the treadmill for a 30 minute fast paced climb up Mt. Everest.

To keep from being bored out of my skull during all this excitement, I watch television. This morning my usual animal programs were all repeats, so I settled for an expose on the Military Channel about UFOs’, Aliens and Area 51.

“Hey, ma, it’s that alien crap again!”

Why am I drawn to this stuff? Could it be because I feel so alien all the time? My evil identical twin brother and I were born with super large heads, our own secret language, simultaneous dreams, ESP and God only knows what else. We always knew our parents were mere earthlings, because they were so boring. I wondered if mom knew she was a victim of alien abduction, because it explains everything.

The day I turned 21, I told my mom about seeing a flying saucer while we were going to the San Diego County Fair in 1953.
“Why did you wait so long to say anything,” she replied?
“Simple, mom, you can’t have me committed after I become of age.”
“Silly boy, we could have committed you and your brother many times in the last 21 years had we wanted to.”

Humm, good point…

I thought I would post pictures of Waltster and I so you can get an idea of what we looked like when we were kids.

Mittster at age five

Waltster at age five

Have a good day in spite of me,


Saturday, February 4, 2012


The BTK killer

I watched “I Survived the BTK killer” last night on TV, and was left with a sour stomach, broken heart and unable to sleep. This revelation is coming from a murder mystery writer who has been accused (more than once) of being a “sick puppy’ concerning my books “Evil in the Mirror” and “Day Stalker.”

The program didn’t center on Dennis Rader, known as the BTK killer. Instead it focused on three people who lost loved ones to Rader’s horrible sexual fantasy murders. These three people tell a story much sadder than the slain victims because they live the horror of these murders each and every day of their lives, as do the rest of the families involved who were not spotlighted on the program.

The old saying “You can’t make this stuff up” rings true when you study the real deal in murder and mayhem. Researching murder is not fun in the first place, but it becomes particularly nerve-racking when you run across someone like Dennis Rader. I am not going to go into detail about this horrible excuse for a human being. Click the title of this blog if for some obscure reason you have never heard of him.

The reason I watched this program in the first place is because I am ready to continue writing my third murder mystery called “The Phoenix Code.” I already have the story board completed and have finished eleven chapters, but I needed a break from writing. I wanted a fresh approach to the task at hand. I have no intention of changing my style, “sick is as sick does.” I just wanted to see through fresh eyes the horror of murder. Brother, BTK fills the bill.

The sour stomach comes from the knowledge that Dennis Rader was not executed but is spending the rest of his life in prison. Although I am (in principle) against capital punishment, the idea of this monster living leaves me sickened. The prosecution made a deal so they could learn the scope of his killings and close the chapter on this guy. To me, and the families involved, this is little consolation given the absolute horror and pain his victims went through.

One man who lost his mother, father, brother and sister to this monster stated at the trial, face to face with Dennis Rader, in a clear and steady voice, “You did not manage to wipeout our my family because I survived what you did to my loved ones. I win because you are never going to see the light of day again.” The reality was that during the program this brave and courageous young man wanted revenge in the worst way. He wanted his time alone in a room with Dennis Rader. Believe me if you had seen this man on the program, you would know that Rader would be a dead man.

There is no question that the BTK killer probably will not survive incarceration. Just like Jeffery Dahmer and others before him, he will die in prison, but not from natural causes. I believe this a fitting end to Dennis Rader. This, and only this, will close the last chapter of one of the most chilling real life murder mysteries on record.

My broken heart is not just for the victims and families of these murders, but also for the wife and children of Dennis Rader. He managed to live an exemplary life in his community, hiding in plain sight, as it were. I can’t even comprehend how his wife and children must feel. She was sleeping with a monster that surely now makes her skin crawl. His children are stained for life and have a long, hard road to hoe. It won’t be easy for them, but with the grace of God, they too will survive the BTK killer.

Write on,


Friday, February 3, 2012

The Real Meaning of Family

A million words have been written about the importance of family, but I don’t think we truly appreciate our families until we reach the age when we know leaving the planet sooner rather than later is fast approaching like a runaway freight train. At this point in a person’s life, all the petty reasons why contact with some family members ceased seem ludicrous.

When we reach the age when our parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts have all passed on and the kids are grown and living their own lives, we suddenly realize “holy crap” we are next. While old age mostly teaches us that our bodies and minds are fast going the way of the dinosaurs, our hearts yearn for family. Love transcends time and space and gives us the strength to endure watching our bodies submit to gravity and our brains turn to mush.

I had the pleasure of visiting with family I had not seen in years yesterday in Tucson. Although this extended family is by marriage only, they are indeed still family and we go way back to when we were kids playing together in the southern California summers and then Sandy and Ricky would go back to their mom and stepdad in northern California at summer’s end.

You see, my twin brother and I never knew our father because he died when we were very young. Our stepfather was the only dad we had ever known and we were nine or ten before we even knew that Sandy and Ricky were stepsister and stepbrother. It was quite a shock actually and hurt deeply because being stepchildren held some resentment and scorn in those days by some family members. Nonsense to say the least and you would never know we were not blood related yesterday. In fact, Sandy’s sister Christine (whom I had never met) commented how we all looked alike in so many ways. That statement was music to my ears because we all looked at each other and smiled. It was true – so much for being stepchildren.

We had come full circle and left the restaurant parking lot after many hugs with the commitment to never stay out of touch again. I headed for my home in northern Arizona, while my brother Walt headed for his home in Tucson. My brother Ricky, his wife Marie and my sister Sandy left for northern California and my new sister Christina headed for her home in Palm Springs.

It was a short, but meaningful family get-together and I look forward to seeing them again soon. Ricky invited us to go fishing on his boat in Santa Cruz and Christine offered her guest house to us anytime we pass through Palm Springs. My wife Sandy was unable to be with us and was missed by everyone, especially me. Between e-mail and Facebook, I am sure we will stay in touch in the coming months. It will be fun to share stories about getting older and what kinds of moles are being removed on any given day. OK, that part will not be fun, but what the hell…it beats talking politics or religion!

One parting thought, why didn’t I get the camera out of my coat pocket and take a group photo for this blog? Because I’m an idiot, that’s why!

I’m just saying,


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Surf's up!

When I was a young teen surfing in California, all we could do is talk about the huge waves off Hawaii during the winter. Sure, we occasionally snagged twenty footers at Wind and Sea in La Jolla and to us they were giants. We even made the trip to Northern California a few times and surfed large waves at places like Steamers Lane and Cowls Landing. The water was freezing, but we thought the waves were awesome.

We still kept dreaming of the really big winter waves at the North Shore of Maui, but unlike the stars who made surfing movies all over the world, we were sand bums, stuck close to home working as grocery clerks or gas station attendants. While the surfing stars rode new boards in exotic places, we were content to use hand-me-down boards that needed repairs on a weekly basis. We even rode homemade skateboards made out of plywood and caster wheels during the times the surf was dead or the wind was blowing from the west so hard that the waves crashed on the beach like tsunamis.

Even though we never surfed the giant ones, we still had a great time on the coast of California when you could build a fire and sleep in sleeping bags right on the beach while waiting for the first sets of early morning waves that beckoned at first light. We barely took time to eat, but when we did, it was always the most tasty cheeseburgers and fries ever made. Small diners dotted the landscape from San Diego to San Francisco and the food was the best in the west. You can’t find food like that anymore and especially for a dollar, which included fries or onion rings!

Life moved on for me and thousands of other beach bums who ended up married and working at higher paying jobs to feed the family. Our boards hung on garage walls that were located inland because that was where the work was. Every year we rode the waves less and eventually the boards were sold in yard sales and replaced by construction tools. I even moved to Michigan due to construction advancement and surfing was just a distant memory.

I remarried in 1995 to a wonderful woman who had raised her children and was at the executive level for a large company. I was divorced and still working construction in Michigan. As it turned out, my wife loved to travel and we made our first trip together to France in 1996. The amazing thing was that after that trip, we started planning a trip to Hawaii.

OMG, the surfing bug fired up big time and I thought I would die before the trip day arrived. I would like to add at this time that the Parisians were not rude to Americans during our trip to Paris. The bastards were rude to everyone, including themselves! Thank God there was no surfing there.

We finally arrived on the big island of Hawaii and I was dumbstruck with how beautiful it was and the ocean beckoned to me like the sirens in the sea voyage of Ulysses. We have made three trips to Hawaii since and my favorite island is Maui. We found an older condo with a small surfing cove right next door. It was the perfect place to find my youth. I thought because I had been a construction worker for many years that surfing would still be easy. After all, it was like learning to ride a bike. Once learned, never forgotten, right? Wrong, and I mean with a capital W!

I thought my arms would fall off after paddling out beyond the small breakers, let alone giant ones. I made two trips out past the surf and after washing ashore and crashing like a beached whale the final time, I realized that Old Man Time had made me Old Man Surfer. My wife sat patiently on a blanket, smiling, while asking if I needed oxygen and a litter to get back to the condo. After resting while lying on the hot sand, I finally got up, dragging the board over to some grass for the last time as my surfing dream faded into oblivion. I dreaded taking the board back to the rental shop. I knew the young salesman was going to ask embarrassing questions of which I would be forced to lie about. As it turned out, wifey took the board back for me because I was too tired to make the trip downtown.

It has been eight years since our last trip to Maui and I doubt we will be able to go again. I hate airplanes and money is tight. I still ride my Harley and that gives me some solace. At least when I am riding my bike, I feel younger and memories always flood my mind about the early days. One thing about surfing now scares the hell out of me.

This picture explains the fear without question!

I'm just saying,


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Frankly, I Don't Give a Damn!

Frankly, traditional publishers, I don't give a damn! If I die not selling another book, you can rest assured that using a POD (Print On Demand) publisher is light years ahead of trying to get a pompous, élite, self-serving, holier than thou, snobbish, dinosaur ass, traditional publisher to even open your manuscript envelope, let alone read it. I have heard that they have huge trash cans for unopened manuscript envelopes and use them to stay warm in the winter, which is impossible considering they are reptilian.

I have lost count of the horror stories concerning newbie writers being treated like sub humans at the hands of traditional publishers. Worse yet, if you were one of the very fortunate writers able to get signed by one of these publishing houses, your status went from subhuman to slave. Forget keeping the content of your novel, it will be tweaked into oblivion. Not to worry though; the odds of getting published are worse than winning the lottery!

Did I send my manuscript to some traditional publishers? Yes. But, after wasting about fifty bucks on postage, I decided it would be cheaper in the long run to hire a POD publisher. After much research and a little luck, I found the perfect publisher, Wheatmark, Inc.

Here is the gist of an e-mail I received today from Wheatmark:

“We received your Proof Approval Form and have released your files to the printer. You will receive your Author Sample Copies in about a week from today.”

In other words, my sequel murder mystery, Day Stalker, has gone to press!

That’s what I’m talking about…. While some newbie authors are waiting for word on manuscripts that will never come, I just had my second novel published. I am already working on the third novel, The Phoenix Code, anticipating finishing the trilogy in May.

What are you waiting for? Get your books started; a great adventure waits!

Write on,


Monday, January 30, 2012


Monday, Monday…how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. NO ways!

If I were to get Monday a Valentine’s gift, it would be pig poop in a plastic bag.

I know, let’s wrap Monday to a tree with duct tape and pee on it all day.

How about this? We pour cement overshoes on Monday and bury it in the desert. The concrete is to make sure the coyotes can’t drag it off!

I’m wondering if the rack might convince Monday to never appear again.
Sorry, wrong rack....

Where is Godzilla when you need him? He could have Monday for breakfast.

I thought about simply erasing Monday from the calendar, but Tuesday would just take its place! Even naming the days after numbers wouldn’t work. Two would just take over for one.

We could send Monday to Mars on a rocket, but if there is life there it would be so rude.

We could nuke it, but that would kill the rest of the week and us too.

OK, I get it Monday is here to stay, but I don’t have to like it. Let’s just get on with the day and before we know it, Tuesday will be here and we can look forward to Friday. God, I love Fridays – let me count the ways….

I’m just saying,